Under s444 of the Education Act 1996 economically nomadic families can defend themselves against a prosecution for their children’s non-attendance in school by showing:
- they are engaged in a trade of business of such a nature that requires them to travel from place to place;
- the child has attended at a school as a registered pupil as regularly as the nature of that trade permits; and
- any child aged six or over has attended school for at least 200 half day sessions during the preceding year.
In April last year the Government published “Progress report by the ministerial working group on tackling inequalities experienced by Gypsies and Travellers” which announced in Commitment 3 their intention ” to look again at the impact of this legislation and to consult on whether it should be repealed.”